Comedy double act to front the launch of ITV Digital, Johnny Vegas and newcomer Monkey set to storm the nation

10th July 2001

TV history is littered with comedy duos who have left their indelible mark on the nation: Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, Morecombe and Wise, French and Saunders, The Two Ronnies, to name a few. Some might add Cannon and Ball. ITV Digital (formerly ONdigital) has signed up the hottest new comedy duo to front its launch advertising campaign. Johnny Vegas, whose one-man show is the wow of comedy festivals at home and abroad, and Monkey... a friendly chap from Muppet-makers The Jim Henson Creature Shop.

Smart guy Monkey plays the voice-of-reason to Johnny's naïve character Al. The Al and Monkey comedy pair will feature in a series of TV commercials and billboards, revolving around their home life and viewing habits. The two are seen in their favourite chairs in front of the telly, snacking on crisps and popcorn. Basically, two normal people watching television.

By dramatising two people using and enthusing about ITV Digital, it should be possible to address questions about digital television and talk about the products and services in an entertaining, warm and engaging way.

The nationwide campaign will include widespread billboard sites and high rotation TV spots, to launch on 11 July and has been created by advertising agency Mother.

Johnny Vegas, Perrier Award nominee and winner of the acclaimed 1997 Edinburgh Festival Critics' Award, is considered the most exciting comedian on the live comedy circuit. With his trademark potter's wheel and Butlin's-style singalongs, his unique performances are the stuff of legend. Johnny has successfully completed two sell-out UK tours, and is a regular fixture at Edinburgh as well as festivals in Kilkenny, Montreal and Melbourne.

Johnny is also a versatile comedy actor, co-starring in Happiness with Paul Whitehouse, and in Attention Scum with Simon Munnery; both shows being nominated for The Golden Rose of Montreux.

"I watch so much telly, this was an unmissable opportunity to be part of a major TV event," said Johnny. "It took time getting used to being upstaged by a monkey but, I'm not precious. You have to take it on the chin when you are in the presence of talent. Monkey has a great attitude. He'll be able to handle fame with style."

Jeremy Dale, Sales and Marketing Director for ITV Digital, said:

"We wanted an engaging campaign to launch ITV Digital and we are confident that this hilarious double act will become a firm favourite with the public. Ultimately, it is the freshness, humour, honesty and simplicity of the ads that perfectly express our attitude and approach to our business and our customers."

Notes to Editors

ITV Digital will launch on 11 July, 2001.